Monday, January 30, 2012


Hang Loose....Hawaii-an Motto!
I cannot imagine living life without traveling anymore. My travel bug came from my family. My father started traveling when he was young, within India and then once he travelled abroad one time, there was no looking back. I grew up in different countries, went to school and then worked in different countries.  Even from childhood I have visited several countries, first with family, then with co-workers and friends.  And now frequently I have the yearning to see some place new.  I explore my local area and also try to travel abroad.

Depending on how one travels, it can do more to a person than just introduce them to tourist destinations. One can go an exotic destination and stay in hotel and not venture out of it – that is not even tourism, just a waste of time. 

To travel and learn something from it, one has to immerse themselves in the culture and experience of it. Traveling within ones own country can also be as exciting as traveling abroad. It’s the experience that counts.

Traveling can open our eyes to so many wonders. We learn new cultures, languages, cuisines, way of life, transportation etc etc.
- The more diverse you make your travel plan the more you will learn.
- The more open minded you are, the more you will understand the culture and people better.
- The more acceptable you are, the more you will enjoy your travels.

By traveling to a country and culture alien to ours we also understand ourselves better since we are out of our elements. Being out of our comfort zone teaches us about survival, alertness and being practical.

Having traveled to a number of places with different groups of people; with parents, with brother, with a group of strangers, with student groups, with colleagues, as a leader and of course by myself, I can confidently say that I have enjoyed all my travels, no matter with who (or whom) I go. I make it a point to experience as much as possible and enjoy every moment of my time, even if I am waiting for one hour at the bus stop for the bus to arrive!

Some of best traveling experience has been within my own country, India.  I learn more about it every time I go.  It could be because I did not grow up in India and I look at India as a foreign country also :-)

So how do you make your travel a memorable one?
  • Learn about the destination before going there.
  • Try to learn the basic vocabulary, if the language is different.
  • Once there, talk to the guide, be polite and culturally sensitive while asking questions, but ask questions.
  • Speak to as many locals as possible (if language permits).
  • Observe all customs and rituals of the country. You are a visitor, so you have to conform to their customs.
  • Try not to show off with lots of money or gifts.
  • Be patient of everything and everyone.
  • Always have a positive attitude.
  • Don't forget to enjoy the local cuisine!!
Everyone is not like you and your differences will only make your experience more worthwhile, so relax and enjoy it rather than getting all worked up and judgmental.

And make sure you bring something back!! You never know when you will ever go to that country again.

Click here to see some more of my travel photos
(The magnificent Macchu Picchu, Peru)

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